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A picture full of Life

Graphic Storytelling. An art on its own. Just like telling a story a story, the themes may vary right from being totally irrelevant to tackling the core issues of World/Nation/person. However, it is something we simply cannot do without.

Those who read the daily newspaper just impulsively turn to the comics section, and the assortment of 4/5 comics mentioned there seem to finish before they can give enough pleasure. It is always too less. And if it’s a rerun, well then…!!

Starting in a certain sequence, a daily comic reader never follows the sequence as given by the editor. It is personal choice – whether you want to save the ‘best’ for the last, or vice versa. Time constraint? Never for ‘sequential art’!!


Everyone has their favorites in newspaper comics, magazines, etc. Howver, the main intention of almost every strip is to lighten the moment, to tell a situation and to make the reader laugh. This is done with the aid of words and pictures. The type of character defines what is being said, and how it will be tackled. There are some comics which can be understood only when you have grown up a wee bit. The humor is dry, and a child simply cannot understand it. Wizard of Id being one of my prime childhood agonies.


However, there are some which are just so endearing, and transcend all time-age barriers. Calvin and Hobbes being one of them. Teen life can never be complete without the issue of The Archies, the teen love and high school triangle with funny situation always brings on a smile. Poor Dennis, the misunderstood naughty child has never grown, but always manages to be ‘cute’. One of my favorites, Beetle Bailey always manages a spoof on army life, if not normal existence of countless others outside the rigidity of routine.


Political cartoons are another category all together, but frankly speaking, none other than Laxman with his common man have managed to keep me interested.


There are new comics. Some endear immediately, and some are plain boring.

So what is it that differentiates comics? To me apart from the characters, the interest is spurred by the

  1. narrative – it has to be easy to follow,
  2. drawing – interesting yet neat
  3. fun factor – witty or endearing, the point is it should be worth noticing


My present comic strip favorites can thus be summarized as below (not in order):

  1. Calvin and Hobbes (yeah, who can beat this WILD imagination)
  2. Beetle Bailey
  3. Archies (may not be funny, but good fun anyway)
  4. Hagar the Horrible
  5. Garfield
  6. Dilbert
  7. The Ellington way (my latest interesting find)

 Apart from these, I keep trying to discover good ones, and have found The Meaning of Lila interesting, though the topic is common in all the strips. Perhaps that’s why I like it…the diverse angles of the same plight – finding Mr. Right for herself and a nagging Mom – is fun.


I sometimes follow PreTeena, a nice strip about Pre-teens. And Janes Worlds Classics holds much promise, if only the writer puts in some more effort. Paige Braddock seems to get bored ever so often, and wanders off to an unnecessary tangent without giving the story much impetus…quite boring believe me.

Beau Peep and Dennis the Menace are also interesting reads when I find one with me, and I still like Blondie. However, Blondie is something that I find only in the Sunday magazine of The Telegraph, Calcutta; but that is a one page feature, which I love. Mom is so nice so as to cut and file them away for me.


Believe it or Not is also an OK read. As is Peanuts (I’m sorry to hurt sentiments here, but I just find it too dismal). To the OK list there are many more (Moose and Molly, etc.), but since I’m forgetting their names, I don’t think they are worth a mention on my post!

Pigs before Swine and Candorville could not hold on to my imagination for long.


Such is the story (as of now) if my love relationship with comic strips. Mind you, Im not talking of comic books and magazines, or cartoons here. That will take up another few pages!


So, what is your comic?

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
4th Jan, 2006 09:26 (UTC)
Ya JM...whatever you might say, I strongly believe that this post has (once again) been inspired by my mention of Laxman in the comment to "Yes Minister.." :D ;) Hehe...

Yup...I have always loved comic books (i know u havent mentioned them here) as well as comic strips.
My first love was "Henri" which was a common feature in Indrajaal comics :) And then Archies & Garfield. And I also grew up with "Shrimatiji" by Pran which appeared in my Mom's Magazine- Manorama.
My current list of favourites include (apart from those already mentioned) C&H, Hagar, Wizard of Id, Dilbert.
Both Ellington Way and Lila are good too.
4th Jan, 2006 09:31 (UTC)
i rebel!
i had written about Laxman even before ur comment! i just didnt post it! ;)

ya, Henri is nice too..a classic example of no words laughter :)

I remember Suppandi from my sparse Hindi collection. He was good :)
4th Jan, 2006 09:41 (UTC)
Re: i rebel!
Ok..Ok...dont rebel now;)
Will blame it on the telepathy shared by those who live together :)

Suppandi was a feature in Tinkle :) Yup I loved him too...
Tinkle was our fav comic book
4th Jan, 2006 11:11 (UTC)
stole someone else's pc, and some time.. had to see what dippy has written about.. a quick comment for now.
brilliant post..
my favs .. well u know some..
1. Calvin and Hobbes..
2. Asterix .. i know its not a strip..
3. tintin
4. garfield
5. archies..
6. peanuts
7. beetle bailey
8. shikari shambu and tantri the mantri
will add soon..
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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